Brook House Hops is changing the way that hop farmers and brewers trade, by selling its hops online, making it the first direct to brewer hop grower in the UK.
Traditionally, hops are sold via merchants, however, hop farmer Will Kirby believes that this new direct approach will be well received by brewers who are looking for: greater transparency, provenance, freshness, and access to specialist varieties, at a time when there is a boom in craft beers.
The 2017 hop crop is available to purchase now on The Lupulin Exchange, an online marketplace for hop buying which is already popular in the United States. In addition, Will has plans to offer a sales portal through his own website in the near future.
The former financier is the only new British hop farmer in a generation, having recently re-established a large hop operation at Brook House Farm, Bromyard, in the heart of the Hopshires. Will is passionate about the future of British hop farming and is looking for ways in which he can bring innovations to this traditional crop.
He said: “I think that the increasing demand for craft beers requires a new approach to growing and sourcing hops. Brewers are looking for new flavours and better quality hops. We’re as meticulous about the quality of our hops as the finest craft brewers are about their beer. We all want to know the source of our fruit and vegetables why should hops be any different?”
Will’s aim is to grow the most aromatic and verdant hops in the UK, as well as sourcing new and unusual varieties from the US. With the current trend for hoppier IPAs and pilot brews, he hopes his innovative approach will offer brewers a fresh and exciting supply chain.
He added: “Much like grapes, it’s all about the terroir, and there are some really interesting varieties grown in the US, such as Citra and Amarillo, that we want to introduce to the UK.
“I’ve been working closely with a group of American hop farmers and we now have a complete refrigerated supply chain to ensure that these hops get to brewers in the best possible shape — freshness is key.”